I used to take care of a lovely boy who had a lovely cat. He slowly started to antagonize this cat. He would pull on his tail and drag him around while the poor cat was crying for him to let go. Knowing how to handle this type of situation is important, because kids don’t really understand how much a cat feels. So as much as they are hurting them, they don’t really do it for that reason.
Another thing that was worrying was that the cat had these great sharp teeth that he wasn’t afraid to use, along with some nice sharpened claws. It was obvious when he would play with the cat cause he had the poof on his arms.
I would read to him and it was a great way to make him understand. Kids relate well to rhyming and animation. He laughed and listened and then at the end he would tell me “that’s not nice” whilst he would point to the boy holding the cat. I would hug him and tell him “that’s right you clever boy, it really isn’t nice”. And then at the end of the story we would talk about it and actually discuss why you should be nice to animals and how you should always use nice hands.
Of course there were times when he would forget and that was okay cause he is only a kid :0) We would then take out the book again and read it together. And after we would go to the cat together and use gentle hands. We would repeat out loud to each other “nice hands”. Eventually it became routine.